After a year and a half of blogging, I decided to share everything I've gone through with my blog. From the moment I started it, why I started it and why, to this day, I sometimes feel I want to quit. It hasn't been easy, especially when there's no school for bloggers, degree or course that'll tell you word by word how to start, run and earn money from a blog.
This post was written and published on February 2017, but after feeling very overwhelmed this days, sad and having that same quitting thought in mind, I decided to revise it, update the photos and content on it. Fast forwarding from February to this day, I want to share my experience as a blogger and everything that comes with it.
I started blogging a year and a half ago when somehow, I found myself searching through Bloglovin, a social media for bloggers. I fell in love with the blogger atmosphere, with having and running your own website, with creating content and sharing everything you know. I entered every day and spent the longest time reading and searching for new blogs, I even had my favorites. The more I spent on reading beauty and lifestyle blogs, the more I started wanting to create my own. I did not know how to start a blog, how to create one, how to add gadgets, widgets or plugins. I did not know the difference between platforms. I did not know how to promote your content, gain followers and be successful.
Everyone I came across was using WordPress as their platform and as a newbie, and having no clue, I decided to open an account on WordPress. I stetted up everything as I could. I watched tons of YouTube videos and I launched what I thought was a blog.
I launched my blog under Dearmmakeup.org as a makeup blog. I chose Dear Makeup because I wanted to give the impression of a makeup artist writing letters full of information and knowledge to her readers. The readers never came and after a while I wanted to share more personal stuff that didn’t just fit under the name Dear Makeup.
I spent a long time reading blogs, but ironically, I didn’t research how to start one, which now I think it was very dumb from myself. My design was very far from perfect, I wasn’t happy with my blog, I ran out of space to upload, I barely understood the platform and I started taking steps back and feeling overwhelmed.
The drop that filled up the glass was that I ran out of space to upload content on WordPress. If I wanted to upgrade I had to pay almost, if not, $200 yearly to have my blog running. At the time and to this day, paying $200 on the spot is too much money. I would’ve stayed in WordPress if they had a monthly membership.
I don’t know how I found out about Squarespace, but I did. I didn’t do that much research either. I just noticed they had a monthly plan with unlimited space to upload, so I signed up. The good news is that it is very user friendly. They have video tutorials on how to do almost everything and if you still have doubt, you can reach out to them and they respond almost immediately. They have excellent customer service. I only had to reach out to them once and they answered all my questions, plus guide me through everything via pictures, links and videos.
This is not sponsored by Squarespace, btw, but I mention this because, unlike me, you should do research before you sing up with a platform and great and fast customer service is a must. I managed to build up my website in no time. At first, I linked Squarespace to WordPress because I didn’t want to lose all my old content and because I had a domain bought from WordPress. After a while I canceled completely WP and bought my own domain with Squarespace. Princess Miiaa was born. Luckily, I did not lose my content or anything from the website.
Wow! I feel that before starting to create the actual website, you should read the most you can on how to promote your content and drive traffic to your blog. When I started mine, I just hit publish and hoped for people to come across it. I wanted to get noticed, but yet I was embarrassed and ashamed of my friends and family seeing it. I only promoted, or tried to promote, I must say, on Instagram. And now I look back and think how wrong I was and how wrong many people are.
When you start your blog, immediately create a Pinterest account, set it up for business and rich pins. Sheila from In search of Sheila has excellent content on how to drive traffic to your blog using Pinterest. Krista Aoki has an excellent eBook on the same topic + a list of hundreds of group boards you can join.
A quick tip on getting noticed once you start a blog would be to pick to social media platforms and go from there. It takes a lot of time and engaging to create a following, so having too many accounts at once can be overwhelming and unsuccessful.
Wanting to quit
If my struggle is not clear, there was a time where I felt unmotivated, but who wouldn’t. I moved to San Diego out of nowhere, I stopped blogging and I couldn’t find inspiration anywhere. I didn’t like my blog and wasn’t getting any traffic. I wasn’t improving my photography, had no light in my old apartment or space to shoot and couldn’t decorate my flat lays either. One day I woke up and decided to get back at it. Came across Squarespace and started changing everything.
Why I do it.
Because I love sharing my knowledge and passion for beauty and makeup. I love writing and creating content. My mission with this blog is to give you the tools and strategies to feel and look beautiful under a budget. After re-branding, writing content here and there and trying to find what it is that I want to make an impact on or share to the world, I feel the need to share how you can create different types of makeup looks and take care of your skin under a budget. On this same blog, you’ll find useful introductory information to makeup, how to use it, what is it for, which one to buy and how to create beautiful looks without being a Pro. Along with it, I like to share my personal experience on how I started this journey and other things that I like. You’ll find a makeup section, a skincare section and a lifestyle section. Each with great valuable content.
What to learn from this post?
1. My number one HAS to be DON’T GIVE UP. Dreams are just dreams until you make them real.
2. GO FOR IT. Whatever it is that you love in live, go for it.
3. Be passionate. If you’re not passionate about something, you won’t be dedicated enough.
4. With failure comes success. Even the richest person on this planet has gone through failure. I mean, how are you going to know what’s best if you don’t experience the worst.
5. Be proud of yourself. Don’t be insecure or ashamed, like I was, for creating or doing something that you like.
6. Be consistent. When you step on social media you have to be consistent in order to make a presence and gain trust from your readers/followers.
Although my blog's focuse is on beauty and makeup, I like to share some personal and lifestyle posts as well. I do this because I want to share a part of me with you, build a relationship and hopefuly find people that would learn from this and feel inspired. Have you gone through something similar? Do you still struggle with some of these things? If you have any questions on anything mentioned here please hit reply. I would love to get to know you and help you in some way. For more day to day content and for a sneak peak of my life follow me on social media. I love discovering new accounts and meeting new people.
Thanks for reading.